Skip to main content
Back to search
  • Add to playlist

Admiring la Argentina

Biennale de la danse 1986 - Director : Picq, Charles

Choreographer(s) : Ohno, Kazuo (Japan) Hijikata, Tatsumi (Japan)

Present in collection(s): Biennale de la danse

Video producer : Maison de la Danse

en fr

Admiring la Argentina

Biennale de la danse 1986 - Director : Picq, Charles

Choreographer(s) : Ohno, Kazuo (Japan) Hijikata, Tatsumi (Japan)

Present in collection(s): Biennale de la danse

Video producer : Maison de la Danse

en fr

Admiring la Argentina

With a mental click, the Japanese dancer Kazuo Ohno appears: long white dress, face powdered, a black bob topped with a floral hat. Admiring la Argentina, his emblematic solo devised in 1977 (when he was 71), brought Ohno international fame, and he performed it for over twenty years.

In 1926 he watched a flamenco show featuring the Spanish dancer Antonia Mercé, known as 'La Argentina'. 50 years later in 1977, when he attended an exhibition by his friend Natsuyuki Nakanishi, he froze in front of a painting, recognising behind the splashes of colour and abstract lines the face of Antonia Mercé, the inspiration for his famous solo.

His dress and his face share the same crumpled, fragile appearance, the costume being an extension of the fragile body of the dancer and his character, La Argentina; reciprocally, this cross-dressing reveals the old man's body as well as that of the great dancer to whom he pays homage.

Source : Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Ohno, Kazuo

Kazuo Ohno was born in Hakodate City, Hokkaido, on October 27 in 1906. In 1926 Kazuo entered the Japan Athletic College. A poor student as he was, a superintendent of a dormitory took him to the Imperial Theater to see a performance by the Spanish dancer Antonia Merce, known as La Argentina. La Argentina  was also known as "the Queen of the Castanets" and she innovated 20th century Spanish dance. Spanish poet Garcia Lorca highly praised her. Kazuo was so impressed by her dance.
 

After graduating the college, Kazuo began working as a physical education teacher at Kanto Gakuin High School, a private Christian school in Yokohama. He began to dance upon moving to Soshin Girls school, another Christian school, since he needed to teach dance to the girls students.He began training with two of Japan's modern dance pioneers, Baku Ishii and Takaya Eguchi, the latter a choreographer who had studied Neue Tanz with Mary Wigman in Germany. In 1938 Kazuo was drafted and went with the army to the front in China and New Guinea for 9 years
 

Kazuo held the first recital in 1949 at Kanda Kyoritsu Hall in Tokyo when he was 43 years old. As soon as returning from New Guinea, where he was a prisoner of war for a year, Kazuo resumed dancing. The experience of the war made him dance "Jellyfish dance" in one of his recitals in 1950s. On returning from New Guinea, he saw jellyfishes in the sea where those who died on board by hunger and diseases were buried.
 

In the 1950s, Kazuo Ohno met Tatsumi Hijikata, who inspired him to begin cultivating Butoh (originally called Ankoku Butoh, the "Dance of Utter Darkness"). Butoh was evolving in the turmoil of Japan's postwar landscape. Hijikata, who rejected the Western dance forms so popular at the time, developed with a collective group the vocabulary of movements and ideas that later, in 1961, he named the Ankoku Butoh-ha movement. In 1959, Hijikata created one of the earliest Butoh works, Kinjiki(Forbidden Colors), based on the novel by Yukio Mishima. In 1977, Ohno premiered his solo Butoh work directed by Hijikata, "La Argentina Sho" (Admiring La Argentina), which was awarded the Dance Critic's Circle Award. In 1980, "Admiring La Argentina" is Kazuo's masterpiece as well as Butoh's.
 

After his 90th birthday, he was still active as a Butoh dancer. The last overseas performance was "Requiem for the 20th Century" which was held in New York on December 1999. But in the same year he had eye trouble and his physical strength gradually started waning.Yet Kazuo Ohno has continued dancing as if he was nourished by his age. When he could not walk by himself, he danced with the supports by others.When he could not stand even with the supports, he danced as he seated himself. When his legs didn't move as he wanted, he danced with his hands. When he lost himself, he crawled on his knees and audience were so moved by watching his back.
 

When he dances, he vitalizes himself. An ordinary old man becomes a somebody who gives power to others. People love to encounter Kazuo because of that. He lives long, he moves people deeply. Kazuo Ohno is an artist who has enlarged human potential.
 

He was awarded a cultural award from Kanagawa Prefecture in 1993, a cultural award from Yokohama city in 1998 and the Michelagelo Antonioni Award for the Arts in 1999.
 On Tuesday 1 June 2010, Kazuo Ohno died from respiratory failure at the Senin Hoken hospital in Yokohama, in the Tokyo suburbs. He was 103.


Source:  Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio 's website


More information : kazuoohnodancestudio.com

Hijikata, Tatsumi

Tatsumi Hijikata (1928 - 1986) was a Japanese choreographer, and the founder of a genre of dance performance art called Butoh. By the late 1960s, he had begun to develop this dance form, which is highly choreographed with stylized gestures drawn from his childhood memories of his northern Japan home. It is this style which is most often associated with Butoh by Westerners.

He moved to Tokyo permanently in 1952, the year in which the American Occupation of Japan ended. He claims to have initially survived as a petty criminal through acts of burglary and robbery, but as he was known to embellish details of his life, it is not clear how much his account can be trusted. At the time, he studied tap, jazz, flamenco, ballet and German expressionist dance (Nobutoshi Tsuda). He undertook his first Ankoku Butoh performance, "Kinjiki", in 1959. In 1962, he and his partner Motofuji Akiko established a dance studio, Asbestos Hall, in the Meguro district of Tokyo.

Hijikata conceived of Ankoku Butoh from its origins as an outlaw form of dance-art, and as constituting the negation of all existing forms of Japanese dance. Inspired by the criminality of the French novelist Jean Genet, Hijikata wrote manifestoes of his emergent dance form with such as titles as 'To Prison'. His dance would be one of corporeal extremity and transmutation, driven by an obsession with death, and imbued with an implicit repudiation of contemporary society and media power.
Especially at the end of the 1950s and throughout the 1960s, Hijikata undertook collaborations with filmmakers, photographers, urban architects and visual artists as an essential element of his approach to choreography's intersections with other art forms.

Source: Research Center for the Arts and Arts Administration, Keio University

Picq, Charles

Author, filmmaker and video artist Charles Picq (1952-2012) entered working life in the 70s through theatre and photography. A- fter resuming his studies (Maîtrise de Linguistique - Lyon ii, Maîtrise des sciences et Techniques de la Communication - grenoble iii), he then focused on video, first in the field of fine arts at the espace Lyonnais d'art Contemporain (ELAC) and with the group « Frigo », and then in dance.
   On creation of the Maison de la Danse in Lyon in 1980, he was asked to undertake a video documentation project that he has continued ever since. During the ‘80s, a decade marked in France by the explosion of contemporary dance and the development of video, he met numerous artists such as andy Degroat, Dominique Bagouet, Carolyn Carlson, régine Chopinot, susanne Linke, Joëlle Bouvier and regis Obadia, Michel Kelemenis. He worked in the creative field with installations and on-stage video, as well as in television with recorded shows, entertainment and documentaries.

His work with Dominique Bagouet (80-90) was a unique encounter. He documents his creativity, assisting with Le Crawl de Lucien and co-directing with his films Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux and 10 anges. in the 90s he became director of video development for the Maison de la Danse and worked, with the support of guy Darmet and his team, in the growing space of theatre video through several initiatives:
       - He founded a video library of dance films with free public access. This was a first for France. Continuing the video documentation of theatre performances, he organised their management and storage.
       - He promoted the creation of a video-bar and projection room, both dedicated to welcoming school pupils.
       - He started «présentations de saisons» in pictures.
       - He oversaw the DVD publication of Le tour du monde en 80 danses, a pocket video library produced by the Maison de la Danse for the educational sector.

       - He launched the series “scènes d'écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library's digital conversion and created Numeridanse.


His main documentaries are: enchaînement, Planète Bagouet, Montpellier le saut de l'ange, Carolyn Carlson, a woman of many faces, grand ecart, Mama africa, C'est pas facile, Lyon, le pas de deux d'une ville, Le Défilé, Un rêve de cirque.

He has also produced theatre films: Song, Vu d'ici (Carolyn Carlson), Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux, 10 anges, Necesito and So schnell, (Dominique Bagouet), Im bade wannen, Flut and Wandelung (Susanne Linke), Le Cabaret Latin (Karine Saporta), La danse du temps (Régine Chopinot), Nuit Blanche (Abou Lagraa), Le Témoin (Claude Brumachon), Corps est graphique (Käfig), Seule et WMD (Françoise et Dominique Dupuy), La Veillée des abysses (James Thiérrée), Agwa (Mourad Merzouki), Fuenteovejuna (Antonio Gades), Blue Lady revistied (Carolyn Carlson).


Source: Maison de la Danse de Lyon

La Argentina

Choreography : Kazuo Ohno

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Maison de la Danse

Our videos suggestions
03:46

La Valse de Vaslav

Tompkins, Mark (France)

  • Add to playlist
04:07

Icons

Tompkins, Mark (France)

  • Add to playlist
03:01

Hard to Be Soft

Doherty, Oona (France)

  • Add to playlist
03:01

Peekaboo

Goecke, Marco (France)

  • Add to playlist
03:07

Skin

Tchouda, Bouba Landrille (France)

  • Add to playlist
01:57

Walk

  • Add to playlist
06:24

Colin Dunne & eRikm Project

Dunne, Colin (France)

  • Add to playlist
05:05

Locus Focus

Tanaka, Min (France)

  • Add to playlist
48:04

Peuplé, dépeuplé

Ben Aïm, Christian & François (France)

  • Add to playlist
02:13

Peuplé, dépeuplé

Ben Aïm, Christian & François (France)

  • Add to playlist
03:17

Ferry

Keller, Jennifer (United States)

  • Add to playlist
02:40

Cartes postales de Chimère

Bédard, Louise (Canada)

  • Add to playlist
08:04

Yellow Towel

Michel, Dana (France)

  • Add to playlist
07:07

Its not a thing

Gaskin, Keyon (France)

  • Add to playlist
06:30

Sorrow Swag

Lewis, Ligia (France)

  • Add to playlist
03:41

Heimat - focus

Brabant, Jérôme (Reunion)

  • Add to playlist
06:25

Body Without A Brain

Rianto (Indonesia)

  • Add to playlist
00:00:30

Didier Labbé Quartet - DCN 2013

  • Add to playlist
09:26

Zenzana (the cell)

Dhaou, Hafiz (France)

  • Add to playlist
02:34

Snakeskins

Lachambre, Benoît (Canada)

  • Add to playlist
Our themas suggestions

DANCE AND DIGITAL ARTS

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

K. Danse's artistic partners

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

Dyptik Company

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

Roots of Diversity in Contemporary Dance

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

CHRISTIAN & FRANÇOIS BEN AÏM – VITAL MOMENTUM

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

Les Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

LATITUDES CONTEMPORAINES

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

40 years of dance and music

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

Indian dances

Discover Indian dance through choreographic creations which unveil it, evoke it, revisit it or transform it!

Parcours

fr/en/

Body and conflicts

A look on the bonds which appear to emerge between the dancing body and the world considered as a living organism.

Parcours

fr/en/

The national choreographic centres

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

James Carlès

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

Meeting with literature

Collaboration between a choreographer and a writer can lead to the emergence of a large number of combinations. If sometimes the choreographer creates his dance around the work of an author, the writer can also choose dance as the subject of his text.

Parcours

fr/en/

When reality breaks in

How does choreographic works are testimonies of the world? Does the contemporary artist is the product of an era, of its environment, of a culture?

Parcours

fr/en/

Dance and performance

 Here is a sample of extracts illustrating burlesque figures in Performances.

Parcours

fr/en/

Butoh

On 24th May 1959, Tatsumi Hijikata portrayed the character of the "Man" in the first presentation of a play called Kinjiki (Forbidden Colours).
The Ankoku Butoh was born,

Parcours

fr/en/

Do you mean Folklores?

Presentation of how choreographers are revisiting Folklore in contemporary creations.

Parcours

fr/en/

States of the body

Explanation of the term « State of the body » when it’s about dance.

Parcours

fr/en/

Dance in Quebec: Untamed Bodies

First part of the Parcours about dance in Quebec, these extracts present how bodies are being used in a very physical way.

Parcours

fr/en/

Maison de la danse

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/
By accessing the website, you acknowledge and accept the use of cookies to assist you in your browsing.
You can block these cookies by modifying the security parameters of your browser or by clicking onthis link.
I accept Learn more